TV presenter Clare Balding spots "big cat" at the Doward near Ross-on-Wye

Clare Balding said that she saw a "big black cat" at the Doward while recording a BBC Radio 4 programme.

Is a big black cat lurking around the Doward?

First published in News
Last updated

A TELEVISION presenter told radio listeners that she saw a "big cat" while walking along the Wye Valley near Ross-on-Wye.

Clare Balding said that she spotted "the most enormous black cat" while hosting her BBC Radio 4 series The Ramblings at the Doward earlier this month.

"Gosh. We’ve walked out on to the road and turned left and sitting in the middle of the road ahead of us was the most enormous black cat," she said.

"Honestly, I thought it was a panther.

"I mean it was really big, like a dog size.

"I saw it really clearly and it went into the woods and disappeared.

"It just sloped, it didn't scuttle, and just walked across the road and disappeared into the woods."

Ms Balding was walking alongside Nadia and Roger Smith at the time of the sighting.

Mr Smith, a village footpath officer, said that he has seen the animal twice in the hedgerow over the last few years, but does not know if it is a wildcat.

"I have seen black cats here the size of my rottweiler and our friends have seen a big black cat feeding on deer carcas," said Mr Smith.

"There have always been stories of a big black cat on the Doward ever since we moved here 20 odd years ago and a number of our friends have seen it.

"Whether it is the same one over 20 years, I really don't know."

Ms Balding said that she was unaware of stories of a black cat being spotted in the region.

"When I saw it, I was trying to describe it," she said.

"I promise I'm not making it up, but it looked very big to me.

"I'm all excited now, the adrenaline is flowing."

A big cat was blamed for causing injuries to a horse in Upton Bishop in 2010.

Rachel Baugh noticed a deep wound and scratch marks to her bay horse and was told by an expert the injuries could have been caused by a big cat.

Trail marks were also spotted near the stables in Upton Bishop.”

The previous year, a number of sheep killings near Newtown Crossroads were also linked to a big cat attack.

Comments (6)

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1:22pm Tue 17 Jun 14

mizza21 says...

Blimey that's exciting.

I see the HT has helpfully put up a picture of a big cat, just in case anyone doesn't know what they look like.

I'm glad Balding didn't get savaged by it. I would miss her uncomfortable encounters with rural weirdos on Ramblings.
Blimey that's exciting. I see the HT has helpfully put up a picture of a big cat, just in case anyone doesn't know what they look like. I'm glad Balding didn't get savaged by it. I would miss her uncomfortable encounters with rural weirdos on Ramblings. mizza21
  • Score: 4

2:41pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Hereford person says...

Makes you wonder who was the most concerned Clare and her friends or the enormous dog size ****.
Makes you wonder who was the most concerned Clare and her friends or the enormous dog size ****. Hereford person
  • Score: 3

3:08pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Edna Welthorpe (Mrs) says...

I'd have thought she'd have been used to encountering ****.
I'd have thought she'd have been used to encountering ****. Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)
  • Score: 5

3:09pm Tue 17 Jun 14

mizza21 says...

Hereford person, I can't believe you said ****
Hereford person, I can't believe you said **** mizza21
  • Score: -2

3:09pm Tue 17 Jun 14

mizza21 says...

Bloody hell this whole thread is rapidly going down the toilet
Bloody hell this whole thread is rapidly going down the toilet mizza21
  • Score: -4

11:56pm Tue 17 Jun 14

Hereford person says...

It's not a joke people how would you like to come up against a dog size ****.
It's not a joke people how would you like to come up against a dog size ****. Hereford person
  • Score: 4

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